Google is NOT closing this service…

By | September 11, 2017
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I’ve got three things for you today – I’ll try and explain them briefly so this email doesn’t end up huge!

First, a warning from a reader – I’ll let her tell it in her own words:

Hi Tim,
I have recently been caught out and think you may have the ability to warn people.
In June I incurred a parking fine at our local hospital, I have a blue badge and was also driving my husband who has severe dementia to an appointment. All the disabled spaces were full so I parked in a 20min zone and unfortunately took a bit longer to return to the car. I appealed on line and received a confirmation email then heard nothing until yesterday when I received a snailmail letter from a debt collection agency demanding payment of the doubled fine. When I rang I was told that my appeal had been rejected because I had “ignored” two further emails, neither of which I had received. All I was allowed was a 15% reduction on the final demand. I can only assume that the subsequent emails had gone directly into the junk mail but of course I have no proof.
This is an extremely long winded way of asking you to warn your people to check carefully before pressing ” delete all”.!!
Best wishes to you all

It’s a good point – now that more and more services and so on use email, it’s more important to make sure that you don’t end up with real emails going into junk.

It’s especially true if you’re expecting a reply to something important – then it’s particularly worth checking the spam or junk folder every so often.

On some email systems you need to log into webmail to be able to check it – and worse, on some (I think Virgin might be like this and I’m sure TalkTalk are) at least some of the emails they think are spam never actually get delivered – they’re deleted before they even reach your account, so you can never check what they were. I think that’s bonkers, but that’s how they do it. In that case if you’re waiting for an email and it hasn’t arrived, it might be worth checking with the organisation.

Email is brilliant and can be so useful – but it has it’s problems too!

Google Maps and the Hurricanes in Florida
I know lots of readers of these emails use Google Maps – either at home on your PC to check a route before you travel or on a phone or tablet – maybe even as a satnav.

(Incidentally on a slow news day recently some news websites have been saying that using a phone as a satnav is illegal – this is rubbish. It’s illegal to fiddle with it while driving. But as long as you set it up to give you directions before you set off, then it’s fine.)

And Google Maps will show where it thinks there might be bad traffic, so you can avoid it – or at least know you’ll be delayed.

It works it out based on what’s happened to other people with Google maps on their phones who drove through that area.

It works well, but it can be a bit slow to change when the road situation changes suddenly. For example if a road closes suddenly, it’s not good at adapting to that and might keep sending you back to it!

Well, Google and Florida state decided to work together for the hurricanes last week. The roads department of the state got together with Google to keep them informed of what roads were going to be closed as soon as it happened.

That meant Google could keep their maps bang up to date – and people using it on their phone could avoid closed roads and go a different route altogether.

Hopefully this will become the norm everywhere – it’d make life that bit easier when a road has to be shut.

Google Drive is not closing!
I found it quite funny that I’ve just been writing about a Google app that you might use whilst driving and now I’m writing about something called Google Drive. It’s nothing to do with driving, though.

It’s something that lets you store your documents online – and even edit them online. It gives you a word processor, spreadsheet and a few other useful apps and it can also be useful for backing up things you’ve done.

I like it because I can easily work on the same documents from home or in the office – and I know quite a few other people use it – not least because I’ve recommended it a few times!

Anyway, in case you use it and you see any articles about it being ended on PCs, don’t worry.

The service will still be available. What’s happening is Google are scrapping a separate app (or program you can download) that they made for PCs. If you’re using that app, then after March you won’t be able to.

But you can still use Google Drive by going into your web browser (Chrome, Edge or whatever) and going to drive.google.com and logging in with your email address and password.

To be honest, that’s how I always do it anyway – the app doesn’t really add anything on a PC.

You’ll see all your files and so on there – you won’t lose anything. It just means you’ll have a slightly different way to get at it all.

And that’s all from me this time – have a good week.

2 thoughts on “Google is NOT closing this service…

  1. Geoff Turner

    Hi Tim – many thanks for your always useful and clear newsletters.
    I think, though, that you may be underselling the changes that Google has announced to Drive. All that you say above is absolutely correct but there is a major change to the facility to back up files and photos to Drive. Until now, this has been achieved on Mac and PC by the use of Google Drive Apps and a Photo Uploader App – it is these Apps that are being replaced by a Back Up & Sync app, which claims to combine both file and photo backups into one app.
    I don’t know whether you think going into this a worthwhile subject for your Newsletter but I tried Back Up & Sync on my Mac when it was first released and it totally ruined Google Photos – backing up photos already on there, backing up Apple’s thumbnail – it clearly could not cope with Apple’s photo storage. I am told a revised version has been released but I will approach it with absolute caution (I was able to go back to the old Uploader and re-load my photos).
    I think something from you about Back Up & Sync would be invaluable.

    Reply
    1. Tim Wakeling Post author

      Good point – I didn’t get into the way you can use it to back up as I thought not many people used that – I may have been wrong!
      There is a more manual way around it where you create a folder in Google Drive and just drag whatever photos you want to back up into that folder – that’s the way I tend to back things up with it.
      Or there are some other options, using things like dropbox instead (or if you’re on a Mac, you can use Apple’s backup methods) – I might have to write a bit more about this in order to explain it in a bit more detail!
      Tim

      Reply

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